Home' The Source : Third Quarter 2011 Contents areas that could halt or sink the business, one must
figure out what do as a stopgap measure.
Technology is a major vulnerability, he says. For
example, electronic health records (EHRs) not only
provide access to medical records, test results and
personal history, they also serve as a quality assurance
tool to track each patient interaction.
"If a hospital loses access to those, it will really
impact the way they do business," he says. HCA has
been proactive about backing up data and applications
so access can be re-established rapidly. The company
is also replicating servers so if one goes down under
any circumstance, a backup fills in.
To date, much of the emphasis on business continu-
ity planning for technology has focused on the corpo-
rate level, because local HCA facilities are tied into
regional and corporate data centers, he says. Those
plans undergo regular readiness testing as well.
Whatever the cause of an emergency or a business
interruption, Cormier says, "HCA has taken the stance
that it will make sure we have the resources available
to respond and help our hospitals---with or without
outside help such as the state or federal emergency
management agencies." S
Disaster One of the biggest unknowns
in disaster planning is how
long a hospital must func-
tion under emergency
conditions. HCA plans are
incremental---what to do in the first hour,
the first 12 hours, the first day, etc. Given
its size and relationships with companies
like HealthTrust that extend the reach of
its supply chain, HCA plans allow sup-
port and resupply e orts for extended
The Joint Commission for Accreditation
of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
• Must be ready to "tough it out" or
evacuate early, quickly and completely.
The plan must be based on where the
hospital is and the risks it faces.
• If the decision is to stay, "they must
be ready to sustain operations for a
minimum of 7 to 10 days or longer.
For instance, the emergency power
standard says that a facility must be
prepared to generate its own power
for 'as long as necessary.' "
JCAHO standards require focused
planning across six functional areas:
1. Communications: Developing multiple,
redundant means of reaching people.
2. Resources and Assets: Maintaining
real-time inventory management (sup-
plies, equipment, pharmaceuticals) and
3. Safety and Security: Maintaining
safety of patients, sta and visitors
along with perimeter and access control.
4. Sta Responsibilities: Outlining
roles, duties and job actions, including
training and compliance mechanisms to
assure quality of care.
5. Utilities Management: Planning for
uninterrupted electricity, water, sewer
6. Patient Clinical and Support
Activities: Motivating sta to come to
work; providing child support, housing,
etc.; providing support for families and
next of kin; providing mass fatality and
forensic support. S
'Tough it Out'
continued from page 46
HEALTHTRUST: PART OF YOUR DISASTER RESPONSE TEAM
AS WE'VE LEARNED from the tornado crisis in Alabama
and elsewhere, it's critical to develop a sound disaster
plan and test that plan often to ensure no disruption in
patient care. "However, actual disaster events can often
times unfold creating unique challenges requiring addi-
tional support," says Brian Weldy, vice president, facility
infrastructure solutions with HealthTrust. "Whether your
facility is planning or responding to an actual disaster
event, HealthTrust can be part of your team."
Currently the HealthTrust's Facility Infrastructure and
Supply Chain Advisory Boards are developing
contracting strategies with manufacturers and suppliers
for portable emergency generators, roofing contractors,
remediation contractors, emergency transportation and
security services to name a few.
"In the near future, we are planning on developing a
specific website portal for our members to assist them
with emergency planning and logistics," Weldy says.
For more information, email Brian.Weldy@
© CHRIS BERNARD/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM
The Source | Third Quarter 2011 53
Links Archive Fourth Quarter 2011 Second Quarter 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page